I forgot the name of my blog (and Dune)

Which is kind of funny considering that the domain name is, currently, “Nicki Gets Distracted.”

This is not a post about that, though.

Ages ago I watched Dune. Somehow I think it was the TV miniseries from 2000, because I have absolutely no recollection of anything after seeing stills from the 1984 film.

Also – now I feel old as I say “ages ago” to something that happened when I was in my early 20’s. Ugh.

Anyway, I liked it. Whatever version of Dune it was, I liked it. And now that there’s a new version coming out, I’m excited and interested. And because Social Media, there’s a lot of reviews and “here’s why I liked it” posts. So now, of course, I want to read the book first.

I turned to the audiobook instead of buying a paperback or ebook for a couple of reasons. One, I haven’t made reading a priority lately, and an audiobook guarantees that I’ll be able to get about an hour most weekdays listened to. I have a half hour commute, and audiobooks really help, especially as it gets darker earlier. I also tend to get sleepy behind the wheel when I need the heat on and I’ve been at work all day, and audiobooks also help with that.

Also, if I purchased the paperback I would have been very, very tempted to buy all the paperbacks, because (as I did not know before) it seems that Dune has multiple books to churn through to get the entire story. And after buying all the paperbacks, I likely wouldn’t have read any of them. Damn it.

Finally, I have a hard time getting caught up in books of a certain age in a particular genre. I don’t know how I managed it with The Eye of the World, the first Wheel of Time book. I definitely couldn’t swing it with any of The Lord of the Rings books. Listening to the opening of Dune just confirmed that I made the right choice, at least to get started. I have a feeling that if I get really invested in this, I may be able to complete the other books in the series with little issue.


Maybe there should have been more to this post. I think I’m done, though.

Looking for new.

I mentioned in my previous post about the Facebook outage a few days (weeks?) back that I had locked up my Twitter, deleted my YouTube channels, and was thinking about doing something drastic with Facebook as well. I did indeed end up deactivating (but not deleting) my Facebook, and after that, I deleted all 8,000+ tweets in my main Twitter account (but didn’t delete the account itself).

I took the Facebook and Twitter apps off my phone a couple months back, and didn’t really miss them too much. I was visiting them sparingly anyway, and would just go to them online when I wanted to check something.

I feel pretty good about all this, but I’ve also made a little discovery:

I miss both platforms when I’m bored and looking for “new,” whether that’s something new to read, something new to learn, or something new to entertain me.

me

Why does this feel like such a revelation? It shouldn’t. Of course that’s what social media is – a place to go to see what other people think and create and advocate for. But for some reason, I remember social media as a place to be seen, and then as a place where I went to see myself think. Now, when I find myself missing it, it’s when I’m idle find myself looking for something to alleviate boredom.

I’ve been trying to think about what I used to do when I got bored. Was I watching a lot of television? Reading? Going outside? Taking naps? My only clear recollections are as a teen and a young adult when I nearly always had a book in hand, and if I didn’t, I was at the library or used book store getting more. I was reading during classes in high school, I was reading as I walked to my job. I was just always reading. The rest of the time, honestly, before social media really caught on? I do not precisely recall.

Ah, also as a child I spent pretty much every spare second outside pretending, exploring, and occasionally chasing rainbows.

Anyway. Contrary to previous deletions, I’m not pretending this time like I won’t ever change my mind. I deactivated Facebook on purpose (as opposed to deleting), because I want to be able to go back if I decide I want or need to. I didn’t delete Twitter for the same reason.

And it’s not a complete blackout, either. I still have Instagram to follow one person’s stories, and I have TikTok because it’s addictive as fuck to stay connected to my youngest, and I have YouTube because it’s practically like television. It will be those platforms that I reach to when I’m looking for new, now. Unless I figure out how to redirect my boredom to more productive activities.

Hopefully.

The wall falls down.

Looks like the ‘book is down today. I want gossip – was it a hacker? Did someone take it down on purpose? I am interested in learning more.

Recently I got into a headspace where I wanted to restrict some of my accounts. I’ve done this before. Sometimes that has been about depression, or about pushing people away, but this time it was about the amount of information I put out into the Internet, and really being conscious about it.

*delete* went the YouTube. Both of them, actually.

*private* went the Twitter. Just the main one. The author ones I let alone.

My Facebook profile has been locked down for a while now. My attitude regarding that service has probably been shared before. In fact, I’m sure I’ve had this conversation here more than once.

Usually the blog would go, too. I’m not really sure what happened here. I decided to leave it alone. I removed the posts with videos in them, and that was it.

And now, look: the place where people go to get updates about other people has disappeared. Well, it’s down. For how long is uncertain. Maybe it will be back up before I finish this post. Unknown.

So yeah! I have my own blog. My friends have their own blogs. I still use Feedly as a RSS reader to keep track of my favorite sites. I don’t need Facebook, and I don’t like it, and I’m glad I didn’t destroy the blog along with the rest of the things I was removing.

I keep talking about this. Why do I keep talking about this?

At any rate. Hello! I am indeed alive, and the blog is still in one piece.

For now.

Bwa. Ha. Hah.

Conversations

I had a conversation today that just left me feeling better. That’s an invaluable thing.

Also, I think I about ready to permanently kill the social media I’m not using, or that is currently bringing me stress.

The person I was having a conversation with said how they find stress in hearing how other people’s lives are going because their inclination is to compare that life with their own, and then find fault in what had previously brought them joy.

I get that, and in a similar way I am finding stress in listening to people who are sharing every thought they have every moment that they have them. (Sorry, that’s a line from a movie. Can you guess which one, though?)

It’s not so much that I mind people sharing their thoughts, but what is bringing me stress is conversations fueled by hate. I’m exhausted by watching the news as filtered through people’s political beliefs. This doesn’t mean I want them to necessarily have my opinions or beliefs, simply that I’m so exhausted with my own shit, I’m having a lot of trouble avoiding having feelings and emotions about other people’s feelings and emotions.

The easy way to fix that is to just turn off the flow of information from others that I am finding suffocating. No more Facebook, Twitter, and most Instagram. A lot of YouTube can go as well. When I’m ready to have conversations with people and able to manage the energy that comes with that, I can turn those channels back on.

I realize right now that this sounds a lot like I’m isolating again. Like I’m threatening to delete —


I started this post in August, and the fact that it’s in my drafts is bothering me. There’s not much more to say. I have in fact shut off the flow of much of my social media, and I keep talking about it, and I’m pretty sure if there was anyone sitting and reading all my posts, they’d be getting fucking annoyed by now.

😁

When Harry Met Sally

Twilight Sparkles

Sometimes you just have to go and hate-watch the entire Twilight Saga. I like the series like I like the movie Black Dog: I recognize that they aren’t great all-around movies, but they’re at the same time hella entertaining.

I love that.

That’s enough.

A story nobody remembers but me

My great aunt is turning 100 soon, and her daughter is collecting stories from family about her mom. I had a story, of course, but when my mom asked if I had any, I figured it wasn’t a good story to share. She thought it was, though. And, honestly, it’s kind of a fun story to tell.

So here’s the email I sent (with identifying info removed). Enjoy!


Hi!

I’m late. Mom even tried to remind me to not be late, and I still forgot.

Which transitions well into my memory!

So when I was little and we still lived in Iowa, and when Mom was going back to school for a certification and Dad was working at the plant, I would be home alone to catch the bus! And it was fine, I was a responsible kid…most of the time.

But I also liked video games, and low and behold! There was a SNES (video game console) in the basement attached to a television! And it was a temptation I frequently couldn’t resist. So I’d play Super Mario Bros or Duck Hunt or Contra (the only game I could beat) while waiting for the bus.

I could totally hear the bus when he pulled in the driveway, and frequently the driver would honk at me if he pulled in and I wasn’t already outside.

Except the one day he was probably irritated with me for not getting outside on time and slowing down the route. Maybe he honked, maybe he didn’t. But either way, I didn’t hear him AT ALL, and when I finally realized it was getting pretty late in the morning and huh…the bus just wasn’t there yet…

Oops. I put two and two together and got “Holy crap, I missed the bus.”

And for my usually-responsible self, this was absolutely terrifying news. Mom was at school (probably – maybe interning or something), Dad was at work, and while I could have called Dad, neither of them was in a position to drive all the way back home (a 25-30 minute drive back for Dad, at least).

I was going to be in so much trouble. The school would call. I’d be grounded until I was 21 (hyperbole, yes, but I was 10-ish? Maybe 12-13?). And worse, my parents would be soooooo disappointed. Missing the bus is just not something I did!

I could only think of ONE person who could possibly bail me out of this awful, terrible, horrifying situation. Only ONE other phone number I knew. Only ONE person who would be at work, but also not at work, and who was kind of close, and who maybe, possibly, hopefully would be willing to give me a ride to school.

I was clearly more scared to miss school than I was to call Aunt Anne and explain that I had missed the bus and could she give me a ride to school, but I was pretty scared to do that, too. And, to my little pre-teen brain, with reason! I remember thinking Aunt Anne was annoyed to be disturbed, probably disappointed that I’d been so irresponsible, and she barely said a word from the moment she picked my distracted butt up to the moment she dropped me off at school.

I hope I remembered to say “thank you.”

But as annoyed or irritated or disappointed as she might have been, not only did Aunt Anne pick me up and not complain about it to me, or say anything that I can remember about being more responsible (it’s entirely possible I blocked that out, to be honest), SHE ALSO DIDN’T TELL MY PARENTS!!

When Mom mentioned that you were looking for people to email over memories of Aunt Anne, this was the first memory to jump into my brain and refuse to be ignored. And when I told Mom yeah, I had a memory, but it wasn’t really a good one and I probably shouldn’t share it with you…

She had no idea what I was talking about. No clue. Dad didn’t remember, either. Not a thing!

Anyway, I also remember staying over at her house and having a couple twin beds pushed together for me; and the super tiny toilet in the closet under the stairs; and having to be super quiet when Uncle Bob was watching his shows; and eating Dinner for Lunch and Supper for Dinner (or was it the other way around? I was always confused about that); and the doggos that were always around and seldom in the house; but what I remember first and most about Aunt Anne was when she bailed me out and got me to school (before the bus, by the way!) when I was too distracted by video games to notice when the bus pulled in the driveway.

Sorry I’m late again!

Love,
Nicki (Nicole)

Putting on the brakes

I am not a stranger to brake issues on my car. I have ground down more rotors than I remember. My last vehicle was actually manufactured with brakes that were the wrong size for the weight of the car/mini-SUV which caused warping, brakes freezing up, and more warping.

But today is the first time I’ve experienced “soft brakes”.

Actually, technically, it’s not the first day. I think this has happened to this car before, but the problem disappeared with the service I had shortly after that. Today is the first day though that I experienced it, looked it up online, took the car out again and verified that there is absolutely an issue, and drove it promptly to the dealership (the closest, thus safest, car maintenance option at the time).

So I’m now without a vehicle at a place that no longer has a courtesy shuttle. A coworker will pick me up to get back to the office, and hopefully my spouse will be able to pick me up and bring me into the office in the morning if that’s necessary. Such a hassle, but, y’know, I guess brakes are important?

Happy Thursday. Wish me luck!

Moving day

Since it’s all up and functional now, I might as well mention why I moved the blog. I didn’t rename it – that happened a few weeks ago. No, I moved it from a self-hosted WordPress blog on GoDaddy to WordPress.com.

Reason #1:

I could deal with managing the updates on my own. I could handle the fact that I didn’t have a security certificate (https prefix). What became the tipping point were the constant notifications from Jetpack.

“Your blog is offline.”

“Your blog is back online!”

“Your blog is offline.”

“Your blog is back online!”

At one point I had like 30-some notifications like that.

I loathe notifications.

Reason #2:

That stupid security certificate. I see the value in having it. I did not see the value in purchasing one from GoDaddy for something like $95 a year for a tiny little blog that has at best two regular readers.

Reason #3:

The cost of hosting is ridiculous.

Again, I’m a tiny little blog and paying $120 a year for hosting is ridiculous. Maybe if I had a bevy of dedicated fans. Maybe if I was making money off of my site somehow. Maybe then that could would be justified.

But I’m not.

Reason #4:

Price.

All the things previous reasons why I moved? They’re covered over here at WordPress.com for a significantly less ridiculous price. I get to keep my domain pointed at the blog, I get the https, I get the Jetpack notifications to stop (and my site to actually be online), and I get to pay about $50 a year for the privilege (and the first year came at half off).

I mean…even as a tiny blog, it’s worth it.

Other Things

I know some people hate WordPress. I don’t. I love it. (I actually have usability issues with the other guy.)

The app works 1,000% better now.

I get reminders to blog. (That may be an updated app thing, though.)

It’s just easier. And I need easy. And apparently I need the blog, because even though I felt like wiping my digital existence recently, I didn’t.

So that’s a thing.

Happy reading!

White

What’s the biggest reason why I don’t own any white shirts?

Blood. 🩸

Make of that what you will. 💖

I actually had to buy something white for work yesterday, but I believe I’m going to try to dye it black after it has served its purpose so I can get some real use out of it.

And honestly, the next “uniform” I get may simply consist of 6 different black shirts for the same reason I don’t wear white ones.

Loves.

It’s fixed.

I thought I’d broken it, but apparently it really did need the whole three days to resolve.

Woo!

Welcome.